Local queer authors receive Governor General honours

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Raziel Ried. Photo by Evan Eisenstadt Photography

Vancouver authors Michael Harris and Raziel Reid (photo above by Evan Eisenstadt Photography) join two other queer artists as recipients in this year’s Governor General’s Literary Awards announced earlier this week.

Harris took the non-fiction prize with his book The End Of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection which explores the impact that the digital era is having on our way of life and how we think.

In awarding Harris the prize the jury statement read: “Michael Harris’s finely crafted book, The End of Absence, marks the arrival of a surprisingly authoritative media savant, in the grand tradition of McLuhan, Frye and Innis. His book opens a profound vista on an elusive but important phenomenon – the technology that will change us forever.”

The End Of Absence by Michael Harris and When Everything Feels like the Movies by Raziel Reid

The End Of Absence by Michael Harris and When Everything Feels like the Movies by Raziel Reid

Reid was recognized in the children’s literature category for his When Everything Feels Like the Movies, the coming-of-age story of a young teen who refuses to be anything other than his flamboyant, fashion-loving self.

In awarding Raziel the prize the jury statement read: “An edgy and uneasy story with no simple resolutions, Raziel Reid’s When Everything Feels like the Movies is unflinching. An openly gay teen in a small-minded town, Jude Rothesay’s fantasy life is a movie but his real life isn’t. He is audacious, creative, rude, often hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking. He’s unforgettable.”

In addition to the two local recipients, Toronto playwright Jordan Tannahill was recognized in the drama category for Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays, a collection of three plays explore the lives queer youth and Victoria’s Arleen Paré received the poetry award for her collection, Lake of Two Mountains.

The Governor General’s Literary Awards honour the best in English and French-language Canadian literature in seven categories with each winner receiving a $25,000 cash prize and the remaining finalists each receiving $1,000.

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